The Narrow Path- Part 2 Copyright © 2019 Nicole Donoho This 5-Day blog series story is a work of fiction. Names, descriptions, entities, and incidents included in this story are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, events, and entities is entirely coincidental.
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“Everyone wants to know that they matter. That’s why Avery stays with Dexter even though he’s a jerk. The problem with that is that if we invest all our happiness into our relationship with each other what happens when something crashes? What happens if one of us dies next week?”
Xander shook his head and crocked his eyebrow. “Why would you say something like that?”
“It’s part of life, Xander. The writers of the Bible say those kinds of things over and over. They are constantly saying that if we are trying to fill the void inside within something from this earth, from this lifetime, we’ll constantly feel empty. The only thing that can fill it is God.”
“Still, I feel like saying something about dying is bad juju or something.”
I laughed. The weight of yesterday’s conversation lifted from the cab and the atmosphere finally felt less hostile. At least he was smiling again.
“So, just so I’m clear. Should we never get married?”
I wrapped my arms around him and squeezed. “Oh my gosh!”
I let go and laughed. “How do you even get that out of what I just said?”
He smiled. “I don’t know. I’m trying but it’s all kind of overwhelming. I know that you’re all into that missionary’s book and it’s encouraged you to dig into the Bible more. But I don’t know if that kind of lifestyle is for everybody.”
“What do you mean?”
“Just being…obsessed with God.” he sighed, “I know that sounds terrible but I also don’t understand what’s wrong with getting married and being happy. What’s wrong with me choosing to stay close to you instead of moving to California? I mean, if God didn’t want me to ever be happy what was the point of creating so many amazing things? Why not just leave the world dull and boring?”
“That’s what I’ve been struggling with. Obsessing over the creation vs. the Creator. It’s incredibly easy to do. So easy, in fact, that I don’t usually realize I’m doing it. Obsessing over the way I look makes me miserable, obsessing over school makes me stressed, obsessing over you makes me jealous and selfish and, just to be honest, sometimes a little bitchy. But obsessing over God is unexplainably peaceful.” I sighed. “It doesn’t make everything suddenly go right but it makes it better. I know I probably sound like a crazy person—”
“You’re doing it.”
Xander smiled. “You get super excited about something, usually God, and then you back down and ask me to reassure you that you’re not crazy. You’re not crazy, first of all, and second of all, as much as it drives me crazy when you start ranting about God it’s also what I love about you. When you’re passionate about something you jump all in and get fired up. It’s pretty hot actually.”
Heat rose in my cheeks. I rolled my eyes and pushed his arm.
He swerved a little. “Hey easy!”
He put his arm around me. “So, are we good?”
“We were good yesterday. I just freaked out when you proposed.”
“I think we both were a little out of our element yesterday.”
“It’s just not as simple as I had imagined but also kind of is.”
“Following God. It’s like that scripture about the wide and narrow path. Not following God is this seven-lane highway with no speed limit. You can drive wherever you want and as fast as you want. It feels like freedom, but its just not satisfying. There are millions of radio stations to choose from but each one leaves you bored so you’re constantly flipping through them. Nobody’s really established where the road ends or what happens when you get there. And despite all that, it continues to offer more appeal than that narrow mountain trail all those ‘God-followers’ drive on. Because after all, you’re free to drive wherever you want. No need to consult with anyone else.”
I released a heavy sigh. “But I feel like I turned off the main highway and decide to venture up the mountain trail to see where it might take me. Every day I have to inch up the path slowly because speeding along might cause me to slide off the side which would result in a hundred-foot drop probably to my death. What makes matters worse is that I often find myself driving through a fog. I have no idea if I’m going the right way so I start panicking about the drop-off. When I take a moment to switch on the radio, I hear a voice attempting to direct me through the fog but static picks up and starts blaring news from the highway. And yet, as stressful as that sounds, that narrow path contains so much more freedom than I ever experienced back on the highway. It’s kind of become this love/hate relationship. I love God’s love but hate the way it conflicts with my own desires.”
I glanced at Xander from the corner of my eye but he didn’t respond. I watched the clock on the dash, five minutes went by with nothing more said than the faint songs on the radio.
An absolute crazy person. That’s what you are. Rambling on and on about all this stuff and thinking that Xander cares to hear about it. The words sent a panic through me. I thought back through the conversation. That’s right, think of all the crazy nonsense you just vomited. If you continue down this path, you’ll just continue to push him away.
Xander pulled up to Jessica car and hopped out. I quickly wiped the corners of my eyes. “God, I want you, even if I lose Xander, I want you. Give me strength to stay on this path.”
Xander walked back to the truck. “Hey, are you coming?”
I took a deep breath and blinked my eyes a few times. I couldn’t feel any tears but I was sure my eyes were about to open the dams. “Yeah.”
“Hey,” he stopped me by the door, “Are you all right?”
“Yeah, I told you just struggling with that narrow path.”
He put his hand on my left shoulder and looked in my eyes. “You know, you don’t have to struggle alone. I might not always understand. But I do love you.”
“I love you too.”
He smiled and wiped a tear from the corner of my eye. “Well, don’t leave that mountain trail because of me.”
“Seriously, I never thought of it that way. It helped me understand your ‘crazy’ moments a little better.” He raised his eyebrow. “I think.”
I laughed. He always had a way of keeping most moments light.
“I’m just saying, as crazy as it makes you feel, I don’t want you to stop. I can see you’re passionate about it and I bet the view at the top is totally worth it.
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A New Identity
What is this blog about? You mean, I'm supposed to have a purpose? Ok, if that's required then my purpose is life.
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